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Gillian Philip vs Working Partners & HarperCollins
Writer Gillian Philip added #IStandWithJKRowling to her Twitter account in 2020 resulting in her publishers HarperCollins and book creators Working Partners terminating her contract.
Gillian’s employment tribunal claim against both companies alleges she was discriminated against because of her age and for holding and expressing gender-critical views. Both were aware of her gender critical views beforehand but her support of JK Rowling generated a Twitter storm and she believes a coordinated attempt to get her fired.
The preliminary tribunal hearing of June 8-10 2022 will decide if Gillian’s case can proceed to a full employment tribunal; establishing if her claim is out of time, and whether she was a worker at WorkingPartners rather than an independent contractor.
WorkingPartners asked the employment tribunal to ban media reporting for fear of hostile emails which the judge rejected, reminding the organisations of the basic principles of open justice and legal protections for free speech.
The Tribunal will hear evidence from Gillian Philip & for the respondents, Chris Snowden, MD Working Partners, book creators.
Gillian was a successful author under contract to Working Partners. She was one of a team of writers of the Braveland books for children under the name Erin Hunter, which are published by Harper Collins.
For more info and updates visit Gillian's crowdfunder - Fighting for rights for authors
Gillian narrowly lost the preliminary hearing on the grounds that she was not an employee and sought to appeal. The right to appeal has been granted and she will now have the chance to persuade a superior court of record that in writing novels under the close control of her publishers she was a worker, entitled to the protections of the Equality Act 2010.
Update as of 7/12/22: The Respondents have been denied their request for an appeal and they have not submitted a 3.10 so the hearing will be to decide if GP was a “worker”. GP is currently waiting for a hearing date.
Update 20/09/23: A date for the hearing was scheduled for 20th September 2023. Tribunal Tweets were denied permission to live tweet.
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Live Tweeting sessions:
8 June 2022 Morning - procedural matters
8 June 2022 Afternoon - procedural matters
9 June 2022 Morning - evidence from Gillian Philip
9 June 2022 Afternoon - evidence from Gillian Philip
10 June 2022 Morning - evidence from Chris Snowdon MD, at WorkingPartners Ltd
10 June 2022 Afternoon - further evidence from CS, submissions from counsel.
J - Employment Judge
P - Panel member
DM - David Mitchell, Counsel for Gillian Philip
SQ - Shah Qureshi, Solicitor for Gillian Philip
C or GP - Gillian Philip, the claimant bringing ET
HC - HarperCollins publisher
WP - WorkingPartners book creators
DH - David Hay, the Respondents' joint Counsel for this hearing
ML - Michelle Last, Keystone Law - Solicitor for HC - 1st Respondent
CS or Mr S - R’s witness Chris Snowdon MD at WorkingPartners Ltd
ET - Employment Tribunal
R - Respondent(s) (HC and/or WP)
Sols - solicitors - Irwin Mitchell for C or Keystone Law for R
FBP - further and better particulars
WS - Witness Statement
Here are links to a selection of relevant press coverage about this case. These links are included without comment and are not endorsed by Tribunal Tweets. This is a sample of coverage only, with most recent first - it is not comprehensive. Please DM our main Twitter account to submit coverage from an established news outlet. Any paywalled article must be archived.
20 Sept 2023
20 Sept 2021
19 Sept 2021
10 Aug 2020
8 July 2020
Christian Institute - Author sacked for supporting JK Rowling trans comments
Bounding into comics - Children’s Author Gillian Philip Fired By Publisher After Tweeting Support For J.K. Rowling
7 July 2020
The Scotsman - Scots author sacked for backing JK Rowling